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Are Internet Links Lawful?

Hyperlinks are common. But are they lawful if they link to copyrighted documents? The European Court of Justice issued a decision on Internet links for the first time this past February.

The ECJ’s decision exclusively concerns copyrights but may be relevant to other areas as well, such as competition law. Lawsuits concerning deep links and embedding have been underway for a number of years now, but how does the situation look pursuant to European law, which seeks harmonization through the 2001 EU Information Directive? Can one freely link to other material without having the author’s consent? For the entire article (in Czech only), go to www.patria.cz/pravo.

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